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The Heartbeat of Old Testament Theology

Three Creedal Expressions

series: Acadia Studies in Bible and Theology

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This volume explores the theological heartbeat of the Old Testament by examining three big ideas that communicate the Old Testament's redemptive theology. Highly respected scholar Mark Boda shows how three creedal expressions--the narrative, character, and relational creeds--recur throughout the Old Testament and express its core redemptive theology, in turn revealing how the redemptive pulse of God expands to all of creation. He also traces these redemptive and creational pulses into the New Testament and shows their relevance for today's Christian community.

About the Series
The Acadia Studies in Bible and Theology series, sponsored by Acadia Divinity College, offers critical assessments of the major issues that the church faces in the twenty-first century. Authored by leading authorities in the field, these studies provide readers with requisite orientation and fresh understanding to enable them to take part meaningfully in discussion and debate.

1. Taking the Pulse of Old Testament Theology: Past and Present
2. The Narrative Rhythm: God's Historical Action
3. The Character Rhythm: God's Active Character
4. The Relational Rhythm: God's Relational Identity
5. Integrating the Creedal Rhythms
6. Creation and the Creedal Rhythms
7. Taking the Old Testament Pulse in the New Testament
8. Taking the Old Testament Pulse in the Christian Life
9. Postscript: Calling for Response
Appendix: Biblical Theology and the Old Testament


"Boda has demonstrated great insight and learning in his numerous previous publications. In The Heartbeat of Old Testament Theology, he now illumines the overall theological message of the Old Testament. This book is must reading for all serious students of the Bible."

Tremper Longman III, Robert H. Gundry Professor of Old Testament, Westmont College

"Wonderfully grounded in close readings of biblical texts, this work is an impressive presentation of key theological trajectories that reveal the person and acts of God across the canon. Boda explores what he labels the narrative, character, and relational creeds of Israel and then connects them to the redemptive purposes for all of creation. His carefully articulated method establishes the Old Testament's own voice before demonstrating its rich and complex ties to the New. Informed, creative, and robust, The Heartbeat of Old Testament Theology is an important contribution!"

M. Daniel Carroll R. (Rodas), Blanchard Professor of Old Testament, Wheaton College and Graduate School

"Boda, who has penned a number of important biblical-theological studies, here demonstrates his considerable control of the biblical texts in pursuit of what he calls the heartbeat of Old Testament theology. The result is a useful presentation of three creedal rhythms: narrative, character, and relational. Not content to restrict the discussion to the Old Testament, Boda also relates these rhythms to the New Testament and to Christian life more broadly. A sermon and a lengthy appendix round out the volume and show his ideas at work and in action."

Brent A. Strawn, professor of Old Testament, Emory University

"Boda has written a contemporary Old Testament theology worth reading--learned, reflective, insightful, and relevant. His emphasis on the creedal affirmations that constitute the 'pulse' for theological formulation links back to the fountain of Gerhard von Rad but carries that proposal forward for today. Students and ministers alike will benefit from this work, and it is one I warmly commend."

Heath A. Thomas, dean, Herschel H. Hobbs College of Theology and Ministry; professor of Old Testament, Oklahoma Baptist University

The Author

  1. Mark J. Boda

    Mark J. Boda

    Mark J. Boda (PhD, University of Cambridge) is professor of Old Testament at McMaster Divinity College in Hamilton, Ontario. He is the author or editor of more than twenty-five books, including the Dictionary of the Old Testament: Prophets (coedited...

    Continue reading about Mark J. Boda


"The work is ordered and concise and will appeal to scholars, students, and pastors. . . . It deserves its place among the literature in the field as one not to be missed."

Jeff J. Dabbs,

Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society

"Boda explores three key themes from the OT. . . . His theologically rich discussion, undergirded by solid biblical scholarship, explores who God is and who we are. . . . He follows the threads into the NT and shows how these themes apply to the church today."

Ray Van Neste,

Preaching (Annual Preaching Survey of Bibles and Bible Reference Works)

"Boda is uniquely helpful to scholar, pastor, and diligent parishioner alike, moving from Old Testament Theology to Biblical Theology to Practical Theology. Few Old Testament Theologies are so concise and clear. . . . Boda has provided a rich and ordered project here. The Heartbeat of Old Testament Theology should be read by anyone and everyone interested in the subject."

D. Jeffrey Mooney,

Books at a Glance

"Boda has shown us how wonderful [it is] to be able to discover and experience the riches of the Old Testament in a unique way. Using three kinds of rhythms as heartbeat, he integrates the historical approaches and brings alive the study of the Old Testament in a very refreshing way."

Conrade Yap,

Panorama of a Book Saint blog